Small Cat House

Small cat house construction:

The following describes how I built my houses. It’s only meant as an example of one way to do it. You’ll have to use your own ideas and methods to solve any problems you run into.

The small houses were built using 50gal Suncast Deck boxes. They were built pretty much the same as the medium houses with a few differences. The small cat houses only have one window. For that, I mounted the plexiglas on the outside and later added the second pane on the inside with an 1/8in air gap. I added molding around the window edge and caulked the edges to keep water out.

Because the smaller interior is easier to heat, I used a bit thinner insulation all around, 3/4in or 1in. thick. Use what will work best for your winter temperatures. To install the insulation panels, put the back panel in first, then the front (with a cutout to match the window), followed by the sides (with cutouts for the doors). Next drop in the bottom panel. Doing it this way, the panels lock each other in position. Finally, rest the top panel on the wooden boards positioned as shown in the photos. I also modified the plank that the lights are attached to. I added a pin at each end of the plank to keep it from moving. I also added an L bracket near each end to help hold the side insulation panels in place.

The light fixtures are inexpensive dual lamp security fixtures. I ran a regular extension cord with the end cut off through a grommeted hole at the rear of the house, attached it to the light board with nylon clips. The cord enters the fixture housing through a water tight clamp. I used wire nuts to connect the cord wires to the lamp wires. As this whole thing is going to be outside, it should be plugged into a circuit that is protected by a GFI (ground fault interrupter).

I attached two clips above each door to hold the door cover material.

A couple of other things:

During the cold months, I use 65 watt flood lights. They don’t really get ‘red hot’. You can brush against them without getting burned, but if you grab on to one, it’s going to hurt. I’ve never had one pop when it burns out, they just go dark. The reason I use dual lamps is in case one burns out, there will still be some heat in the house.

For cutting the plexiglas, if you can’t find a piece already the right size, I never had any luck scoring and snapping it. Cutting it on a table saw worked best but I’ve also used a jig saw. A couple of times I’ve managed to crack the piece I was cutting. You can of course just start over, but if it’s just a small crack, I drill a small hole at the end of the crack to keep it from going any further. You can put a bit of caulk in the hole if you want.

A few pictures: